It's time for Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI) to spill the beans on its latest quarter, and it's easy to be worried. Shares of Sirius XM are finally starting to move. The stock that went nowhere last year -- kicking off 2014 at $3.49 and closing things out practically unchanged at $3.50 -- is up 12% so far in 2015.
The reawakened stock introduces reawakened expectations when Sirius XM reports on Tuesday morning. This is especially true with the stock near a new eight-year high.
Analysts are holding out for another period of growth. They see revenue climbing 9% to $1.09 billion from the same quarter a year earlier, fueled by Sirius XM's growing subscriber base and an uptick in average revenue per user. They see earnings per share improving by 50% to $0.03 a share, in line with previous reports that have seen the satellite radio giant grow the bottom line a lot faster than revenue.
This is a scalable model where revenue growth beyond a certain point should drive outsized earnings growth. We saw this happen three months ago when Sirius XM turned a 9% gain in revenue into a meatier 17% pop in adjusted EBITDA.
The stock's double-digit advance this year could keep gains in check even if Sirius XM reports another strong quarter. Another thing that could prevent a big pop is that naysayers have started to clear out. There were 130.4 million shares of Sirius XM sold short at the end of March. That may seem like a big number, but it's actually the lowest short interest in the media giant in more than a year.
The decimation of Sirius XM's short interest is encouraging in theory, but it also eliminates the possibility of a short squeeze. With fewer investors betting against the stock, there won't be a dramatic scramble for the exits -- sending the shares higher in the process -- if it's another blowout quarter.
This doesn't mean that we won't be celebrating what should be another strong report. Sirius XM is on an impressive streak of 16 consecutive quarters of adjusted profitability -- according to S&P Capital IQ data -- that is about to stretch to 17 periods.
There's also a chance that Sirius XM will raise its guidance. It did that through most of last year, continually juicing up its initially conservative outlook.
Sirius XM seems to be doing all of the right things. It's raising debt at low rates to either pay off earlier financing at higher rates or to gnaw away at its large share count. It's making the most of its growing subscriber base -- a record 27.3 million at last count -- to attract magnetic content at reasonable programming costs.
Sirius XM should take another step up in its evolution as a respected and profitable media giant on Tuesday. Whether or not the market applauds the report is the big question, but the ultimate goal of improving fundamentals appears to be Sirius XM's game to win.
Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.